PHOENIX - Sitting at four and four, it's fair to say the Cardinals offense isn't holding up its end of the bargain.
Halfway through the 2012 season, the Cardinals defense is ranked 14th overall, but the offense is another story.
The offense is ranked 28th in total yards, 29th in points scored, 31st in points per game, 28th in rushing, 31st in rushing yards per game, and 24th in passing yards.
The Cardinals 15.9 points per game are just slightly better than Jacksonville's league worst, 14.7 points per game. The Cardinals 79.0 rushing yards per game is just a few yards better than New Orleans' league worst of 72.6, but they at least have Drew Brees.
And after losing four in a row, you can point the finger at just about anyone on the offensive side of the ball. The quarterback play has been below average, the running backs have been less than average, the offensive line is playing perhaps its worst in years, the tight ends are underperforming and there must be some issues with the routes the receivers are running, because John Skelton can't seem to find them.
Thursday, Cardinals All-Pro receiver Larry Fitzgerald tried to explain that it's not about a lack of preparation or the fact that guys aren't trying.
Fitz said, "The thing guys are doing is, we're still preparing. It's not in our preparation, or the lack thereof of preparation. I mean, guys are still here, they're putting in the time. They're working hard in the weight room, they're working out on the practice field, you know, it's just we're out there on Sunday, we're not executing the way we need to be executing."
Sometimes, putting in the time and working hard isn't necessarily the answer. Sometimes it's about working smarter and doing the little things that can make you better as a team. And sometimes, you just don't have enough athletes to make it work and it doesn't matter how hard you work. Sometimes you just need the players that can help you win. Sometimes you need more all-star type players than young, hard workers.
If you need another example of that here in town, check out the Phoenix Suns. The Suns are a team that doesn't have a single all-star on its roster, so we'll continue to enjoy the games and have fun watching them, but thinking about the play-offs or a championship should never enter our thoughts. Such is the case with the Cardinals.
At this point in the season, and with Green Bay and Atlanta the next two teams on the schedule, the Cards could be looking at four and six, before things even get a little bit better.